Nick Fanuzzi Speaks!

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When Nick Fanuzzi completed the Period 1 drill Coach Z takes his quarterbacks through, the one where they throw balls from the 5-yard line over the crossbar and to another quarterback standing by the wall at the lip of the tunnel, eyebrows were raised. Fanuzzi was unable to finish that same drill without pain last week, giving indication he would not play against Tulsa.

When Fanuzzi actually took reps with the second-team offense, well, it was time for a chat:

"I've taken some huge strides since (the shoulder separation at Oklahoma State) first happened," Fanuzzi said. "Coming out (Monday night) was more fun. Obviously it's a lot better to get some throws in and get some reps with the team versus sitting back and watching, which is always tough. It's great to finally get out here and start doing some drills and team play."

Q: How do you feel right now after starting and stopping the past couple of weeks?

A: Right now I know that I've made some strides and I'm getting closer to where I want to be, but I realize that I'm still not where I want to be. I'm very happy with where I'm going at this point, but I'm still not to the point where I want to get to. I realize there are still a lot more things I need to do to get prepared for (a game): get more reps, get in the game mentality, and (have) no hesitations. Coach (David Bailiff) and I have been talking (about) taking it one step at a time. I'm very happy to finally get some reps with the team. I'm very excited about that."

Q: Are you finally able to see where the rehab from the past two weeks is paying dividends?

A: Oh definitely. The first week I came out in warmups I could barely get my arm around. It's very difficult to know that you can't do little things like that. Obviously to get out here and get some balls thrown feels a whole lot better, so I'm very excited about where it's gotten to."

Q: How do you avoid the temptation of rushing back given the recent struggles offensively?

A: We've had a lot of struggles with guys getting hurt, and there is no point of trying to get out there too early if you can't perform at your top level. So you need to be smart and realize that, even though you want to get in very, very badly and help your team out, you've got to wait until you're a hundred percent so when you do get in there it's not just pretending your a hundred percent it's knowing you're a hundred percent and having confidence in your throws and running the team. We're going to make sure that when I get out there I'm fully ready to play."

Given the immediacy of this news, I'll postpone the Corbin Smiter conversation until Tuesday.

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Well, sounds like he is feeling better. We could see him on the sidelines last Saturday moving that shoulder around and practicing a throwing motion without a ball. Here's hoping he is ready this week, but I wouldn't be stunned to see Ryan Lewis at the helm once again.

So he might play Saturday or he's probably out Saturday?

Owl-88: If it were my injury report, I'd move Fanuzzi from doubtful to questionable. - MK

Step 1: Get Fanuzzi healthy

Step 2: ????

Step 3: Run the table and go bowling.

At Ease: Step 2 is get Jake Hicks, Tyler Smith and Brent Hotard back in the fold. Spoke with both Smith and Hotard yesterday, and East Carolina is the target. - MK

MK, against Tulsa last week, saw a bit of the Charles Ross Wildcat (WildOwl?) formation when we weren't in the red zone. Do you think the coaches would consider running this formation a bit more often to get the ball in his hands? I know passing would be tough, but I definitely am seeing handoffs or fakes to Patrick Randolph or Shane Turner doing some good.

Personally, I'd like to see a little more motion pre-snap out of our offense. Anything to confuse the defense and cause them to change alignment.

d1owls4life: Bailiff insists that he had Ross charted for 20 touches, but negative plays forced his hand and limited Ross to 15 touches. Perhaps we'll see more of Ross this weekend against Navy. - MK

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